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MATCH PREVIEW | Wigan Warriors vs Leeds Rhinos

Round 2 continues with Leeds Rhinos visiting the Warriors. Here’s everything you need to know.

 

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Wigan Warriors

Wigan started the season with a loss to St Helens, but there is still reason for optimism as new head coach Adrian Lam gets used to Super League. New signing Zak Hardaker could prove to be an important part of this Warriors side.

Leeds Rhinos

Having lost club legends Ryan Hall and Joel Moon in the off-season, Leeds looked lost in their first game of the season, losing to early season favourites Warrington. New coach David Furner will have big decisions to make as the off-season signings try to find their feet in Super League.

 

SQUAD NEWS

Wigan Warriors

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Head coach Adrian Lam has named an unchanged squad from that which lost to St Helens a week ago. Dom Manfredi and Joe Burgess both miss out with knee injuries while Tony Clubb and Gabe Hamlin are both confirmed fit to play.

Wigan 19-man squad: 

Bullock, Clubb, Davies, Escaré, Farrell, Flower, Gildart, Greenwood, Hamlin, Hardaker, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Navarrete, O’Loughlin, Powell, Sarginson, Tautai, Williams.

Leeds Rhinos

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Leeds have made two changes from last weeks squad, with Harry Newman and Nathaniel Peteru called into the squad. Rhinos stalwart Jamie Jones-Buchanan misses out with a chest infection, while Cameron Smith has been dropped in favour of Newman.

Leeds 19-man squad: 

Walker, Briscoe, Watkins, Hurrell, Handley, Lolohea, Myler, Cuthbertson, Parcell, Singleton, Merrin, Ward, Dwyer, Sutcliffe, Ferres, Peteru, Oledzki, Donaldson, Newman

 

HEAD TO HEAD

The two sides have met a remarkable 60 times in Super League, with Wigan having won 32 and Leeds 23.

The last meeting between the two sides ended with a 46-8 win for the Warriors at the DW stadium in June last season. The previous meeting was a tightly contested 9-8 Wigan victory at Headingley Carnegie. Where a late Sam Tomkins drop goal won the game for the Warriors. Wigan hold a 5 win streak against Leeds at the DW stadium, dating back to 2013.

SUPER LEAGUE MATCH REPORT | Wigan Warriors 46-8 Leeds Rhinos

KEY BATTLE

Zak Hardaker (Wigan) v Tui Lolohea (Leeds)

Wigan fullback Zak Hardaker is hoping for a fresh start at the DW and will be hoping to have a big performance against his former club. In 2017 Hardaker seemed to find another level when playing against the Rhinos, and his absence in the grand final plaed no small part in the Rhinos surprise win. His speed and understanding of the game should not be underestimated and a superstar performance could be on the cards.

Leeds will be hoping new signing Tui Lolohea will be show much improvements from last week. Having had a game to settle into the Rhinos system. Fans will be hoping he can press on and show he is worthy of all the hype.

OPINION | Will Zak Hardaker be a Wigan Warriors Star?

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Friday 8th February
Venue: The DW Stadium
Kick-off: 7.45pm
Referee: Ben Thaler

 

WHO WILL WIN?

Both squads struggled in round 1, and this one will not be an easy two points for either side. Given their past dominance at home, I’m going for a 22-18 Wigan win.



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